Posts tagged with "solar-panel"


  • Savings Due To Solar Panel

    Last year, around this time, I wrote a post on how much money my solar panel was saving us. I was supposed to write a follow up to it after one year, but I completely forgot about it. Thankfully, a reader reminded me to give an update and here I am. Unfortunately even after one year I still did not finish the software that was supposed to instantly tell me how much I am saving each month. I should be able to get that information because I have a bunch of sensors monitoring my solar panel system. They measure the power generated by the panel, the amount of power we are using at home and how much power we are drawing from grid. All that data is stored in the cloud in Firebase. Yet I did not finish that part of the software. And to think I am actually retired. Wonder where all my free time goes. Anyway, in this post I will give a guesstimate using our electricity bills as a proxy.

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  • Tools I Use To Repair Electronics

    This is a continuation of my previous post on the tools that I have at my disposal when I am building electornic projects. As I mentioned before, this is not the comprehensive list of tools, but it should give you an idea. In the last post I left off at my soldering station. I use a couple of solder tips depending on the work. If I am soldering thick wires or soldering pins to an arduino nano board, I will use a chisel tip because it spreads heat well and makes good fat solder joint. For delicate work I use a thinner conical tip. Other than that I don’t use any other tips.

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  • Solar Panel Output Under Various Conditions

    In a previous post I talked about how my sensors tell a story regarding our power usage. There are still many more stories that the sensors can tell us about how we use electricity and how much solar power is being generated. Have you ever wondered how the solar power output looks like during the course of a day? Let me give you a hint – it almost looks like a half-rectified sine wave. It was a really interesting discovery. How about the output of solar panel when the day is cloudy? I have answers to all these questions and more in this post.But first let me walk you through the whole setup that I have at home.

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  • Sensors Tell A Story

    After having set up my solar panel, I installed a bunch of voltage and current sensors in various places to collect data about my power usage and also to keep track of how much solar energy is being generated. The plan was to optimize and maximize solar power usage. I want to eke out every bit of power from the panel and optimize the hell out of solar energy. I also wanted to build some visual artifacts (graphs) out of the data. If you are like me, crazy about data, and data analysis, then this post is for you.

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  • Follow-up to Virtual Meetup #7

    Thank you to everyone who joined the virtual meetup #7. We had a very low turn-up but we certainly had a lot of questions. This post is a follow-up to that meeting so you know what we discussed. As it usually happens, the topics we covered varied quite a bit from investment related things to solar panels to taxes.

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  • How Much Money Did My Solar Panels Save?

    It has been more than 6 month since I installed my lone 320W solar panel. So I wanted to check if it was doing me any favors and how much money is it saving. Normally one should wait for a full year to make any kind of useful analysis. But I get easily excited when it comes to doing any kind of data analysis and here I am at it again. It is a very small installation and hence the savings aren’t huge, but at least I am able to verify my predicted numbers (units of electricity) against the real numbers. Did I have any savings or was this whole solar panel project a waste of my time and money. Let’s find out.

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  • Getting The Most Out Of Solar Panels

    It’s been a while since I updated you on my solar panel project. I thought I should continue where I left off. So after collecting all the data from my solar panels, batteries, grid and load, I observed something interesting. While the SMU was disconnecting the grid so that the load can run on batteries and solar energy, we are not fully utilizing the solar energy. During a perfectly clear day, the solar panel is generating more power than we can use during the day. The excess energy is just getting wasted. Can we do something about it?

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  • Follow-up to Virtual Meetup #6

    Thank you to everyone who joined virtual meetup #6. As usual, we had some lively discussions. This post is a follow-up to that meeting to answer any questions that I could not answer at the time. So here goes –

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  • Collecting Data From Solar Panel Setup

    After having setup the solar panel on our terrace, I wanted some data. Specifically I wanted to know the panel output over the course of the day and how much energy savings we are enjoying. The solar management unit (SMU) gives some details about the instantaneous power output and energy savings. But for some reason I felt the numbers look a bit too optimistic. Moreover I could not get more granular data from it. I guess it has more to do with not invented here syndrome. Either way I decided to hook up some sensors myself to gather all the data I'd like from it.

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  • Solar Panel Performance And Energy Savings

    Alright, so I got my solar panels and solar management unit setup all done. Now for the results. According to the spec sheet of my solar panel, it should be able to generate peak output of 320 W. And it certainly did. In fact on some rare occasions it actually produced more than the rated capacity! I was really surprised that something can outperform a spec sheet. From the spec sheet, the panel is supposed to produce 320 W with an irradiance of 1000 W/m2 under standard test conditions (STC). Whatever that means.

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